What other people think of you is actually none of your damn business.
Their thoughts are (generally) private thoughts and stem from their perceptions that are informed by their experiences thus far in life – usually having nothing to do with you at all.
Knowing this and choosing not to care or give attention to other people’s opinions can be so freeing. And yet, a little ironically maybe, what we think other people are thinking of us (keep up here), can be a little motivational.
It is human nature to want to prove people wrong when we feel that they are judging us harshly; and whilst it doesn’t matter what people think, and we shouldn’t prioritise their thoughts, is there really anything wrong with using their opinions to spur us on in our endeavours?
I remember when I was at college, my psychology teacher voiced his opinion that he did not think I was capable of getting an A in the exams. Now, looking back, it seems like such an obvious reverse psychology trick, but 18 year old me was offended and set out to prove him wrong – which I did. The only A that I have ever gotten because I pushed myself properly, feeling like I had something to prove.
There was a girl I used to work with… she was from Czech, working and studying in England and she often told me that some of her relatives didn’t think she would do well here. She used those judgements and naysayers to motivate herself to succeed.
Feeling like you have to prove yourself to somebody is a big influencing factor in the things we do.
It would take a very highly secure person to not feel anything upon learning of other people’s opinions about ourselves – as I mentioned earlier, it’s human nature to want to prove people wrong. As much as some harp on about being above the opinions of others and that it doesn’t matter, some thoughts and words find their way into our ego. Setting out to prove people wrong is not petty, it’s about taking another’s negative judgement and making sure that it does not impact your own thoughts about yourself by proving that you can in fact do it.
We should use unpleasant opinions about ourselves as ammunition – to light a fire under our asses to get us going. Because sometimes, it might just be our own negative thoughts we need to prove wrong.